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Taqwa

Taqwa is one of those unique words in the Arabic language that cannot simply be translated into a word or two in English. As a result, many translators struggle to bring out the real meaning of the word taqwa.

Literally, taqwa means to protect and could be that one protects himself from the Wrath of Allah by protecting himself from indulging in things that Allah forbids. In the Shariah, taqwa as used in the Quran repeatedly, signifies the obedience to the Rules of Islam while avoiding Haraam, and additionally abstaining from unsuitable things in life.

Taqwa in the Qur’an

Taqwa is mentioned in the Qur’an many times over and Allah has ordered each and every Muslim to have taqwa.

A couple of verses that mention taqwa are presented below:

“It is not taqwa that you turn your faces toward East or West, but it is taqwa to believe in Allah and the Last Day, and the Angels, and the Book and the Messengers, to spend of your substance out of love for Him, for your kin, for orphans, for the needy, for the wayfarer, for those who ask, and for the ransom of slaves; to be steadfast in prayer and practice regular charity; to fulfill the contracts you have made; to be firm and patient, in pain and adversity. Those are the truthful and those are the muttaqun.” [Qur’an 2:177]

“O mankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another. Verily, the most honourable of you with Allah is that (believer) who has Taqwa. Verily, Allah is All-Knowing, All-Aware.” [Qur’an 49:13]

Taqwa in Ahadith

The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said, “The most common thing which leads people to Paradise is taqwa of Allah and good conduct, and the most common thing which leads people to the Hell Fire is the mouth and the private parts.” [Tirmidhi]

Tafseer ibn Kathir mentions that Atiyah As-Sa’di said the Propeht (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said, “The servant will not acquire the status of those with taqwa until he abandons what is harmless out of fear of falling into that which is harmful.” [Ibn Majah, Tirmizi]

Sayyiduna Ali (R.A) defined Taqwa as being the ‘fear of Jaleel (Allah), acting upon the tanzeel (Quran), being content with qaleel (little), and preparing for the day of raheel (journeying from this world).

Hadrat Umar ibn Khattab (R.A) once asked Hadrat Ibn Ka’ab (R.A) the definition of taqwa. In reply Hadrat Ibn Ka’ab asked, “Have you ever had to traverse a thorny path?” Hadrat Umar replied in the affirmative and Hadrat Ka’ab continued, “How do you do so?”

Hadrat Umar said that he would carefully walk through after first having collected all loose and flowing clothing in his hands so nothing gets caught in the thorns hence injuring him. Hadrat Ka’ab said, “This is the definition of taqwa, to protect oneself from sin through life’s dangerous journey so that one can successfully complete the journey unscathed by sin.”

Hadrat Hasan Basri said, “Taqwa is the basis of Deen. Desire and greed destroy this basis.”

Hadrat Maulana Hafiz Ghulam Habib (r.a.) used to define taqwa as the shunning of everything and anything that causes a deficiency in one’s relationship with Allah.

May Allah give all the Muslimeen the ability to cultivate taqwa in our lives and grant us paradise, Ameen.

22 Comments

  1. sameer says:

    To save oneself from HARAM is IMAN,
    To save oneself from Excess of HALAL is TAQWA…

  2. Abdul-Kareem says:

    Jazakal-Lah khair! Please I am soliting for important messages through my address. Salam!

  3. [...] away from wanting to get out of it.  Because the farther I let myself wander from Ihsan and Taqwa, the harder my heart becomes and the harder it is to come back to [...]

  4. Faisal says:

    You are not free in this world, no, not at all, this is not how you were designed!!, either you are the slave of your nufs (or Shaytan) or you are slave of the one Who is your Creator, Sustainer, the High and above all, the most powerful, the oft forgiving and merciful, well if you chose to be His slave, then REMEMBER, slaves have no desires but simply obeying and abiding by the rules and commands of Master is their aim, therefore be a true slave, and once you understand this taqwa would start manifesting in your being and once this happen then you are the most lucky one, keep fortifying it by keeping the ALL TIME RELATIONSHIP with Allah SWT and surely you would succeed!!

  5. Project Controller says:

    This refers to Tafseer ibn Kathir that mentions that Atiyah As-Sa’di said the Propeht (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said, “The servant will not acquire the status of those with taqwa until he abandons what is harmless out of fear of falling into that which is harmful.” [Ibn Majah, Tirmizi].

    I contemplate whether should I abandon (resign from) my current job inengland and go back to my countryindia and live in a small but simple house with my children in a small and assuming school with no desires of “making big in this world”. But in doing so I would make my children unhappy as they do not understand (nor can I make their young minds understand it) the concept of “sacrificing the goodies of life for the fear of falling into something that is harmful (as quoted in above ahadees)”. The concept of “making big in this world, gain reputation or be famous in the world” is so deeply ingrained in all current societies/ communities around us, our children may not easily be explained, to remain aloof from this concept. So how can this abandoning be achieved?

  6. Ibrahim Shehu Gambo says:

    jazakal-lah khair. pls put me in prayers for Allah Almighty to grant to me the ability to increase taqwa in my daily life & the ability to shun off all that dis-pleases HIM. Ameen.

  7. rasul abdullah says:

    truily enjoyed your site

  8. roggy boi says:

    i enjoy dis site coz of faith

  9. Aisha says:

    I am a student in the path of deen and i enjoyed this site verily. Inshallah Allah will forgive us all! He is only worthy of worship.

  10. Ahmed says:

    Jazakallah for the comment, please remember me in your duas.

  11. Afshan Moosani says:

    Jazakallahu Qair, the topic explained on Taqwah was really very much helpful for me… Plz do remember me in yo Prayers & Duva…

  12. man dude says:

    Allah Hu Akbhar

  13. ishtiaq says:

    Beautiful article.Concrete,Concise,precise and heart touching

  14. Hafsat Abubakar Elnafaty says:

    Jazakallahu khair!May Allah(sWT)increase our Taqwa.

  15. Yusuf says:

    That piece is really beneficial to all Muslims. Mat Allah reward you abundantly.

  16. saifarafat says:

    Jazakallahhu khair. Beautiful article.

  17. Ademiloye Sulaimon says:

    Very inspirational write up.

  18. Ayesha saifi says:

    ASALAAMWALAIKUM I got the meaning but still not clear to me. so its my request can u or anybody from here explain exactly the meaning in short what is the exact meaning of this TAQWA. sorry to say like this..waiting for the response.

  19. afreena khan says:

    Alhamdulillah….truely thIS website is just too good for explaining our ISLAM…it fulfils its name HAQ ISLAM…

  20. zainab khan says:

    Alhumdullilah,,,truly this website is just too good…for explaining our Islam..may Allah gives u thofiq to always keep this website forever. Bcoz this website is very helpful to US as muslim even non- muslim too… coz if they try find out about Islam so they could get to this web…what exactly islam IS.

  21. Ismail Tijani says:

    Great Thanks.Ismail

  22. Nash Shah Ville says:

    Through reading the meaning of taqwa, it is give me more idea and understand what is forbidden or not, inshallah…. all muslims searcher will read and undstand about the exact meaning of taqwa. alhamdulillah every one will enlighten the true believer of allah.

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